FRW News in brief

    | May 5, 2014

    Download this story

    Farm Radio Weekly has a new trial resource for you: Farmer news briefs. These are stories from across the continent which have been adapted from print or online sources and are suitable for use in your regular farm radio program. Read them, edit them, broadcast them, localize them, or simply use them as background info. Want more details? Click the link under the story to see the original article.

    Please let us know what you think. Do you want to see Farmer news briefs in Farm Radio Weekly on a regular basis? Email us at

    1- Kenya: Coffee farmers get disease-resistant seeds

    Kenyan farmers are set to benefit from 12 million disease-resistant coffee seedlings. Batian and Ruiru 11 are varieties that are resistant to coffee berry disease and coffee leaf rust.

    Kenya’s Coffee Research Foundation, or CRF, is partnering with the Murang’a County government to supply coffee farmers with the two varieties. Four million seedlings will be distributed in October 2014, and another eight million at the start of the March 2015 rains.

    A Murang’a County official said CRF will distribute the seedlings to farmers via women’s groups and youth. They hope that these varieties will interest more youth in coffee farming, as the varieties require few inputs.

    To read the full article, go to:

    2- Tanzania: Zanzibari women farm the sea

    Women in Zanzibar have earned their livelihood for many years by gathering seaweed from the shores of the Indian Ocean.

    Seaweed is used in cosmetics, lotions, toothpaste, medicines and food. But now the women, who have transformed their lives and supported their families with seaweed, are threatened by rising sea temperatures. Many say the seaweed is dying, and have stopped harvesting.

    Zanzibar is the world’s third largest exporter of seaweed. The Tanzanian government says the sector employed 23,000 people, 90 per cent of whom were women.

    The government of Zanzibar is conducting research on the causes of seaweed mortality and how to address them.

    To read the full article, go to:

    3- Central African Republic: UN agencies call for action on CAR crisis

    The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, or FAO, and the World Food Programme, also known as WFP, released a joint report which calls for urgent humanitarian action over the next 18 months in the Central African Republic.

    The reports say that the conflict which started December 2012 is the main reason for the loss of food and cash crops, and is a serious challenge to livelihoods. As a result of the conflict, over one and a half million people are in urgent need of food aid.

    Since early 2013, disruption of trade, loss of purchasing power and unemployment has made food supplies even more difficult to access in the CAR.

    FAO provided agricultural inputs to 75,000 households in time for the planting period which started in April.

    WFP has received only one-third of the funding required to help feed one and a quarter million people. Both agencies are calling for funding to provide life-saving assistance during the current rainy season and the subsequent lean season, when the need for food assistance will peak.

    To read the full article, go to: